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ENTERPRISE Pilot Reviewed'

Published at: April 22, 2001, 2:07 p.m. CST

I am – Hercules!

TrekToday posted on Saturday afternoon a “review” of the pilot script for “Enterprise,” the fifth live-action TV series to be set in the Star Trek universe.

Is the review positive? Enormously. But remember: for all we know, it could have been authored by an employee of Viacom. “I am convinced that ‘Enterprise’ could have a crack at being the best Star Trek series to date,” says the reviewer, identified by TrekToday only as “one of our sources.”

How much can this review be trusted? The only negative thing the reviewer has to say about the pilot script is this: “There were a few continuity errors in the draft that I saw, though they should all be corrected by now.” The reviewer also offers glancing criticism of the premise of “Star Trek: Voyager” and the quality of its acting.

There’s a link to the review at the bottom of the page, but here’s a Herculean “FAQ Summary” for those of you who just want to jump to the juicy bits. From here on out, we assume the reviewer has his facts straight.

When is the series set?

After humanity’s first meeting with the Vulcans (as depicted in the movie “Star Trek: First Contact”), and about five to ten years before the founding of the Federation.

Is there really a Vulcan aboard this early Enterprise?

Yes.

How can this be? I thought Mr. Spock was the first Vulcan to serve aboard a Starfleet vessel!

Ah, but this Enterprise is not a Starfleet vessel. Starfleet doesn’t exist at this point.

Then what’s a Vulcan doing aboard anyway?

According to the reviewer, keeping an eye on things. Apparently the Vulcans aren’t certain they like the idea of humans traveling the galaxy at warp speed.

Does the pilot center around humanity’s first contact with the Klingons?

Yes. A Klingon, fleeing from a heretofore unmentioned species called the Suliban, crash-lands on Earth. A human soon after inflicts a critical injury to the Klingon, but does not kill him. The humans and Vulcans disagree about what to do with the Klingon: the Terrans want to return him to the Klingon homeworld; the Vulcans say such an act would be viewed by the Klingons as a disgrace.

What are the Klingon’s pursuers like?

They can “change their skeletal structure.”

How is the Enterprise involved?

After the humans discard the Vulcanian advice, Enterprise captain Jackson Archer is charged with transporting the Klingon home.

What’s the ship’s technology like?

More primitive that the original series’. “All switches and buttons,” says the reviewer. I’m thinking Captain Proton.

How fast can this Enterprise go?

Warp four.

Will it have an ongoing mission?

Perhaps not. The reviewer makes reference to the fact that, due to warp technology limitations, the ship might be spending a lot of time in its home Sol system.

Do the humans have artificial gravity at this point?

Yes, via something called a “gravity well.” (Ironically, the gravity well is the one place on the ship that is gravity-free.)

Have phasers been invented?

Not quite. There is something called a “phase pistol.”

What about tractor beams?

Nope. Look for grappling hooks like the ones that rescued the Andromeda in another recent starship series pilot.

What about transporters?

Surprisingly perhaps, there are transporters.

What about universal translators?

Not ones that can tackle unknown languages. The absence of such a translator is apparently what leads to the Klingon being attacked by a human.

Are the humans able to communicate with the Klingons at all?

Yes. An “exo-linguist” named Hoshi Sato is able to engineer at least some translation.

Assuming there will be no lengthy writers or actors strikes, “Enterprise” is likely to debut on UPN this autumn.

Read the whole TrekToday review here.

Herc here with an update (posting now at 7:55 p.m. PT Sunday) from AICN's reliable pal "Viacom Girl":

NEGOTIATIONS ARE BACK ON WITH SCOTT BAKULA. THE IMPASSE CAME AT POTENTIAL MONEY INCREASES OVER THE SEVEN YEAR RUN OF THE NEXT STAR TREK SHOW, AS WELL AS HOW MUCH CREATIVE SAY THE ACTOR WOULD BE GIVEN. (HE WAS GIVEN AN EXECUTIVE PRODUCER TITLE ON HIS LAST CBS SERIES, APPARENTLY.) BAKULA WANTS A LOT OF DOUGH, BUT ALSO WANTS APPROVAL AND VETO RIGHTS NOT GIVEN TO PAST STAR TREK ACTORS. NEVERTHELESS, PHONE CALLS FROM THE PRESS TO UPN AND PARAMOUNT CONTEND THAT BAKULA IS STILL NOT IN THE RUNNING.

Can it be babies?

I am – Hercules!

Readers Talkback

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  • April 22, 2001, 2:17 p.m. CST

    This might be good

    by Shawneous

    I'm pretty skeptical of the whole prequel thing but this sounds like it might have some redeeming elements. I don't know, they better not be so damn political (like Janeway is) and hopefully nothing resembling the Prime Directive.

  • April 22, 2001, 2:19 p.m. CST

    trek

    by Y282

    Sounds interesting (am I first?)

  • April 22, 2001, 2:36 p.m. CST

    An idea

    by iloveryan

    If this series is going that far back in TREK history, perhaps one story-line could be Earth's brutal war with the Romulans (who probably lost because, as we know, the Romulans had NO warp drive until the Klingons essentially gave them the technology in exchange for the cloaking device; though I have to remark that maintaining an interstellar empire without faster-than-light travel would be quite a chore).

  • April 22, 2001, 2:45 p.m. CST

    CoOoOoOoL

    by THE_PORKMAN

    Prequels eh? Sounds like another "Star" francise I know. Cashing in....Kerching!!! Prequels are the way forward (backward)

  • April 22, 2001, 3:20 p.m. CST

    What happened to the time travel element

    by SnakeWater

    I thought the crew from the future stuck in the past was a much cooler idea. Also... We've had the white bread captain, we've had the old captain, we've had the black captain and we've had a female captain. How about an alien captain. Humans are in love with themselves a little too much.

  • April 22, 2001, 3:30 p.m. CST

    and how about that Klingon...

    by SnakeWater

    is this klingon going to have the tire tracks on his head or is he/she going to be old school?

  • April 22, 2001, 3:36 p.m. CST

    Is any body else suspicious...

    by Magnum PI

    of the fact that all of these "scoops" regarding "Enterprise" are coming from basically one source, TrekToday.com? I am maintaining that the new series is probably not a prequel and that most of what we have heard so far is nothing more than an elaborate hoax. I am not accusing the TrekToday people of lying. I believe that it is possible that they are unknowingly being used by someone at Paramount to circulate false rumours. Why would Paramount do such a thing? To confuse the issue if real details start leaking out. When Paramount holds a press conference to reveal details about the show they don't want it to be "old news", they want to surprise people. So far the only things that I have heard that didn't come from TrekToday was that the show would be called "Enterprise" and some of the completed sets for series 5 have been used already in some "Voyager" episodes. Let's not forget that studios have used the internet to circulate false information before. Remember during Survivor 1 that a photo of Gervase was found on the official website without an "x" on it. Everybody, including the media, jumped on it saying that the winner had been uncovered. It was later revealed that it was a deliberate ploy by the producers to spread disinformation. I don't know what the premise of "Enterprise" will be, but I don't believe that it will be a prequel.

  • April 22, 2001, 4:27 p.m. CST

    If this is a hoax...

    by Toonimator

    ...then at least this addition to the story adds credibility to it. Trek fans ("kies" and "kers" alike) were up in arms for all the blatant disregard for continuity in previous talkbacks & other boards... the Vulcan on a Starfleet ship... a ship named Enterprise pre-NCC1701... etc. Setting it pre-Federation, rather than "at the time of the Federation's birth" makes it much clearer now. So they CAN have an Enterprise, and a Vulcan observer... Vulcan involvement makes sense, since they had First Contact, so they're responsible for saying "Guess what? There's more out there." Having a ship named Enterprise makes sense, since it's been a name since... well, since ships. We've even had a space shuttle named Enterprise! The first storyarc sounds like it could last awhile, a good solid intro. If they can't travel very fast, odds are they're gonna be on this first mission awhile. During that time we get them encountering "new" species, some very basic & unremarkable outside the scope of a couple episodes (thus, not major players in Trek series we've seen), others just some fill-in background on established or random aliens we've seen walking about the Promenade or something. And, of course, run-ins with this new skeletal-shifting race. It'll be interesting to see if they're humanoid or not, seeing as the vast majority of warp-capable humanoid species in the quadrant are of approximately similar technological advancement, give or take a century. If they can chase down Klingons, and were serious about pursuing the Enterprise, you'd think they'd have little problem in toasting them! Ah, but never underestimate humanity's capability for waging battle... maybe this could be decent after all. Despite this more credible information, I'd prefer avoiding the prequel thing altogether... do something in the future, maybe not 29th century timeship stuff, but maybe transversing GALAXIES... that might be cool! --out--

  • April 22, 2001, 4:39 p.m. CST

    What an ass-rapingly bad concept...

    by Monty Python

    Enterprise::: Captain Worf:::Present day Timeline:::Am I the only person to whom this sounds good?

  • April 22, 2001, 4:54 p.m. CST

    I am shocked to actually be looking forward to this now

    by coop

    The story seems pretty interesting and that story about an alien race that is changing the skeletal structure of the klingons all makes sense now. cool.

  • April 22, 2001, 5:14 p.m. CST

    "phase pistols"?

    by m2298

    In "The Cage" the weapons were called lasers.

  • April 22, 2001, 5:25 p.m. CST

    What's Klingon for fuck off?

    by Kubla_Khan

    Bah. I reaf the casting sheet shit. Yet another fuckwit english cliche who talks in clipped tones and worries about loud noises crops up in an American show. He'll probably be played by a Yank too. Wake up America -- there are about 50 people from the UK who actually talk like Hugh Grant and they're all actors who live in California. True Brits are fucking insulted.

  • April 22, 2001, 5:34 p.m. CST

    snakewater

    by timmer33

    The only time travel element to this show is the fact that the (recurring) villain is from the 29th century and trying to keep the federation from forming. That is the only time travel bit EVER mentioned with the show. It was never about a crew thrown back in time. BTW, this was a good review of the episode - all the details people want to know. Take it with a grain of salt, it does seem very biased. But good job on the review, whoever wrote it. trekweb.com and trektoday.com always have good trek news. If you're interested in trek news, check those sites regularly, cuz AICN seems to always be days late with it.

  • April 22, 2001, 5:37 p.m. CST

    kubla khan - the British

    by timmer33

    But they do have bad teeth, right? That bit's true, isn't it?

  • April 22, 2001, 5:44 p.m. CST

    None of This Really Matters

    by RightWing Dude

    I don't even receive UPN (nor does most of the country) so, a Trekkie such as myself has to do without another TREK show (not that it's too terrible a predicament-I was able to see the 1st 5 seasons of VOYAGER & I don't think that I'm missing anything that I haven't seen before-although this new series does sound fresh). The show will generate the same poor ratings that VOYAGER receives simply because only the big cities receive UPN. Why has this fact never been addressed by Berman? Is he completely oblivious to it? Syndicate it!

  • April 22, 2001, 6:15 p.m. CST

    Wait one damn minute...

    by mini maul

    Now I heard about Captain Robert April, then Christopher Pike, then of course, Kirk... but who the hell is this new captain and why should I give a rats ass about him? It's plain to see what ST needs is some good ass kicking action in the movies as well as in the series. I say we shit can Berman and get some new blood in the mix. No more "formulas" or "beloved characters." Kill a few leads if you gotta. Stir the pot now and then. And for Christs Sake let the Captain (who ever it may be) score with some green alien chicks!

  • April 22, 2001, 6:27 p.m. CST

    Why *are* all the Captains and such human?

    by BloodDonorMan

    I agree with and the previous post-er and have always wondered myself why do all the high ranking officers have to be human? You've got this Federation and no other races can pass the Star Trek SAT or whatever test they need to pass and become officers? They give all the shitty jobs like security guard and lab assistant to all the vulcans, super intelligent robots and blue guys with antennaes. There are like hundreds of planets in this Federation and they let the newbie humans run it? Yeah, right! If I were a vulcan, I wouldn't stand for it! Me and my fellow unemotional pals would gang up and eyebrow-raise my superiors into submission. And come to think of it, why the fuck do all the other races want to breed with humans? How come there has never been a half klingon/half romulan or half green dancing girl/half blue guy with antennae? The writers of Star Trek had better show less prejustice to all the alien races out there! That's how crappy movies like "Independence Day" get made!

  • April 22, 2001, 6:31 p.m. CST

    Wasn't that creepy when Dawn made a zombie Joyce? Oh, (sigh) we

    by Phantom Einstein

    This scenario sounds really cheap and sucky.

  • April 22, 2001, 6:41 p.m. CST

    Sounds Interesting

    by MichaelSean34

    Just so you know where I'm coming from, I watched every episode of TNG, loved DS9 but took at pass on Voyager about 1/2 way through the first season. Also, waited to see Insurrection on video. So I'm a fan, but perhaps only a casual one as of late. Okay, with that out of the way, the pilot sounds interesting. I know a couple of folks here at Aint It Cool seem to be convinced that Rick Bermen is the Anti-Christ, but honestly, it was only after he took over TNG that it stopped sucking completely. (Go back and watch its first season now, it's AWFUL.) That being said, Berman has yet to helm a Trek movie that didn't suck out loud. So...I'm just going to take a wait and see attitude. I like what I hear, but I'll have to see it on film before I pass judgement. Enterprise will get a half a season from me just like Voyager did. If they don't hook me in, I'll stop watching and pray the John Logon TNG film is worth seeing. Here's hoping. -- Sean

  • April 22, 2001, 6:47 p.m. CST

    Back to the Past

    by Electric_Monk

    As noted above, I too think that somethings up in Hooterville. For some time, I've begun to wonder on how Trek info is really obtained. There's got to be a person -or group of persons -at Paramount who just love to leak this type of stuff (however, most of the spoilers on Trek have a fairly good accuracy rate). So the all the Trek websites latch on like a smelly old Aunt who wants a kiss from her favorite nephew, and think this the Word of Paramount. While the proposed idea posted on TrekTody does have its merits, I cannot see why they would want to set a series before TOS. On the other hand, there have been some people who thought Starfleet Academy -with younger versions of Kirk and Company -was a good idea. I will wait until the official announcement from Paramount and UPN, which will most likely come in early May when the networks role out the fall schedule. Could going back to the past work? Maybe, but I don't trust Brannon Braga. But, would I trust him if he set Series V 100 years after Voyager? Naa!!!

  • April 22, 2001, 8:41 p.m. CST

    please don't-

    by magusreno

    please don't let this vulcan chick on board endeavor to become human. I watched an episode of V'ger a few days ago that dealt with the heavy moral question of whether holograms can copyright holosuite programs. What was even more surprising is the TNG episode that was on at the same time was even WORSE that this Voyager episode, the one where Wes falls in love with a changeling. (shudder) We're talking Sex Trek quality episodes here. Trek used to be even worse than it is now!

  • April 22, 2001, 8:49 p.m. CST

    Trek 2151?

    by Orange Bat

    This review is definitely a planted Paramount review. WAAAY too positive and wordy for most internet reviews of scripts. Anyway, people, be skeptical!! Remember how Voyager was hyped? It was going to be "STAR TREK: EXTREME!!" Instead we got "STAR TREK: POLITICALLY CORRECT!!" They never did anything to shake things up. I always hoped that Voyager would get royally SCREWED UP and they had to make other travel arrangements, or even hitch rides with aliens. My favorite idea was that they find an old, lost starfleet ship, from about the time of TOS, and have to make it work. Imagine that crew on an orange bridge with lots of flashing lights and switches? What FUN!! And what interesting thing could go wrong? But hey, in my opinion, Trek started down hill with the invention of the holodeck. When there wasn't a good plot idea, they just said, "How 'bout the holodeck goes BERZERK, even though we've done it 10 times this season??!" If I were captain, I'd shut down the holodeck for being to dangerous. Make it into a SPOOKY storage room!! Oooooo....

  • April 22, 2001, 11:11 p.m. CST

    Still working on that Romulan thing.

    by Sith Lord Jesus

    As I've mentioned once before, I've noticed that in a number of Trek talkbacks there have been quite a lot of people expressing intrest in a Trek series not set in the boring ol' Federation. Some have mentioned the Klingon Empire; but like others I have also considered the Romulans to be worthy subjects. I don't know how to write scripts yet but I can do story synopsis and "scriptiments" so I have been putting together something similar to what Jeb E. Zingo has up on his excellent page. Mine will be set aboard a Romulan battlecruiser about 5-10 years after the end of the Dominion War--to hell with this "prequel" crap. I'm about half done with it so far, and I'll post it on my own page when said page is finally finished. Don't bother sending me e-mail about it; right now I can't get into my Netscape account for some reason, so I may have to change my pref's here at aint-it-cool-news if I can. Oh, and guess which well-known blonde Romulan hottie is the star of the show? Comeon, guess. It shouldn't be that hard. . .

  • April 23, 2001, 12:43 a.m. CST

    As long as there is NO FREEKING TIME TRAVEL in the series, I'm a

    by Darth Ranik

    Time travel is the bane of Star Trek. It seems to pop up in every stinking episode lately, especially in the feature films. Let it die already, if I see time travel in another ST movie or series again I'm going to spazz.

  • April 23, 2001, 5:47 a.m. CST

    Not very impressive

    by Gasgano

    "Trek" continuity is going to take a huge hit with this series. Wasn't it mentioned that first contact with the Klingons took place much later, and that the encounter was so badly handled that it led to war? "Star Trek: Excelsior" or "Star Trek: Special Forces" would have been much better series...

  • April 23, 2001, 9:17 a.m. CST

    I really really really don't want Bakula in this thing.

    by Mechagodzilla

    And I certainly don't want him to have creative control. I know you guys loved him in 'Lord of Illusions' but as he went to great pains to explain in every interview about the movie, "He was trying on this totally opposite character". Everything he has ever had his hand in was a politically correct wimpfest. You know we're gonna see episode after episode where the ship is being fired upon and the first officer will recommend full retaliation. Capt. Bakula will agonize and suddenly come to a realization that it was all just a misunderstanding and will save the day. Of course, in order to quell any talk of the Capt. being a coward, every few episodes will have a confrontation in which Bakula tries negotiation but then THEY PUSH HIM TOO FAR and he does what needs to be done. Think I'm exaggerating? Just wait. You know Bruce Campbell is still out there, but that would be too cool, I guess.

  • April 23, 2001, 10:18 a.m. CST

    the bottom line

    by simian

    Well, no one knows just what the Hell the next series will be like, even this report seriously clashes with AICN's other prequel show reports. So, we dont really know if its a prequel show, a time travel show, a remake of the Original series, or a freakin' parody show with a cast of dogs as the crew.

  • April 23, 2001, 12:53 p.m. CST

    akbos - correction

    by timmer33

    Quint didn't review the script, Derek Flint did it for el Cosmico. BTW, now that all these details have been released, can't Derek delve into more detail as to why he didn't like the script?

  • April 23, 2001, 10:06 p.m. CST

    You can't fool me, Rick Berman wrote that review himself.

    by Regis Travolta

    I'm certain of it. As for Bakula I like the guy and think he'd be a-ok!

  • April 23, 2001, 11:26 p.m. CST

    ST5

    by usagibrian

    Ah. More banal plots with continuity lapses. Has anyone actually watched VOYAGER season 7? I can take about 10 minutes spead across the hour, and I've yet to miss a turn. CAN anyone watch ST5? UPN is a dying network. Lots of markets flat don't have it (I've been mailing video tapes to friends all year). A BUFFY/ST5 evening perhaps? Or maybe ST5/BUFFY (unless Joss was really smart and got timeslot approval too). Lo, how the mighty have fallen...

  • April 24, 2001, 5:09 a.m. CST

    UG! here we go again

    by mezzio

    Series V well I hope this doesn't come to pass W/O major revision: I can understand a Vulcan on board because they are reported to have created the library computer (at least in the book). Still I think to base an entire series on nostalgia is wrong. After seeing ships with touch pads for buttons, and blazing around @ warp 10 - 12 people will not stick around for a series with switches... A TV movie yes, but not a series. I'm sorry to say that this will probably be a flop.... Where will Christopher Pike come into play? So far the plot of SV is weak. Why not adapt First Frontier where Starfleet first meet the Romulans. That has much better potential. Oh well, I can only hope... Mezzio

  • April 24, 2001, 6:28 a.m. CST

    It wasn't "authored by an employee of Viacom"...

    by Kikstad

    but since your paranoia runs deep whenever anyone seems to express any heartfelt anticipation for the next TREK, might I suggest that the positive review might be the work of the infamous "Paramount plant" right here in AICN's Coaxial Talkback? I shiver at the thought... :-)

  • April 24, 2001, 10:15 a.m. CST

    Can anyone say Gervase X???

    by jtp80

    There's been so much s--t about Trek5, with rumors and denials- jesus, didn't anyone learn from Survivor? How many people bet money that Gervase won because it was "Leaked"? How many genius' bought into Amber and Liz because of the "web page"? If you know what I'm talking about, you'll know the "prequel" is a crock of shit, if you don't, too fucking bad

  • April 24, 2001, 11:12 a.m. CST

    A few suggested improvements

    by Orion7

    What's mentioned here is better than a lot of the other stuff I've seen tossed about, but it still has serious problems -- namely, the use of Klingons at all. Here are a few reworking suggestions that could make this a lot more interesting. 1.) Drop the Klingongs altogether -- it's not their time yet. 2.) Instead, deal with Romulans -- as I understand the Trek universe, we meet them a lot sooner, and it's the debacle of the Earth/Romulan War that helps lead to the formation of the Federation. 3.) Don't run up against the Romulans in the first episode! Use all or part of the first season to let us get to know these new characters, get to know the universe their in, and then kick the table over at the end of the season as we disastrously meet the Romulans and end up in a full scale war. Now, wouldn't that be fun? :)

  • April 24, 2001, 5:57 p.m. CST

    I don't think we need to worry about this show's Vulcan wanting

    by KingKrypton

    ...because the Vulcan we'll be seeing on the show is T'Pau, from the "Amok Time" episode. Chances are that she'll still be regal and somewhat remote, as she was in the episode. My worry as far as casting goes isn't with Scott Bakula (who has the right gusto to play a Kirk-style man of action), but with T'Pau. They need to cast someone who projects the dignity of Celia Lovsky and comes off as a young version thereof, but given how awful Hollywood casting/production choices have been recently, they could easily cast a 7 of 9-esque bombshell in the role with no regard for the character's previous characterization. If T'Pau gets screwed up, Paramount will never hear the end of it.